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Posted on September 24, 2019

It’s plain and simple. You must execute backups daily. No excuses!  It’s not just about being able to recover in a disaster; you also need to be able to recover a file that is accidentally overwritten or deleted.

If you have high availability and you think you don’t need to back up every day, you really should reconsider your strategy.  Replication ensures that your target and source data are in sync, but if you delete a record or several records you need, you can’t get them back with replication.  Backups protect your business data, which is a valuable asset.

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Posted on September 3, 2019

May Trucking, an iTech Solutions customer, was recently featured in an IBM Systems Magazine case study, Transporting to the Future.

Jim Utsler of IBM Systems Magazine teamed up with Becki Wagoner, May Trucking Company’s vice president of strategic innovation and technology, to tell the story of how they modernized their infrastructure by moving to a POWER8 system.

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Posted on August 26, 2019

 

It is my pleasure to introduce to you a new product from iTech Solutions. We first developed this for our Managed Services (MSP) customers, and after so many great comments we decided to make it available to everyone.  While our MSP customers get this report daily, this report on our new offering will be sent our weekly.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an experienced IBM i System administrator give you a report each week on the status of your system? 

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Steve Pitcher

Steve Pitcher

Every now and then you get to help a customer via a cool solution.

Problem:

We have a customer who was running three Domino 9 servers (mail, applications and Traveler) on three separate physical Windows servers at various OS versions. One of these servers was drastically underpowered from both processing and network throughput perspectives. Furthermore, nightly maintenance jobs (compact, updall, fixup) were not completing due to the large size of the databases and the underpowered servers. The lack of processing and network speed made backing up those Domino servers a challenge over the network. Each night the Domino backups would take over eight hours.

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Posted on July 31, 2019

Steve Pitcher, iTech Solutions

We get asked this question all the time: “how can I protect IBM i against ransomware?”

Ransomware is a hot button topic. It should be. The average ransom that companies paid in Q1 2019 rose to $12,762 from $6,733 the previous quarter. In some instances, ransoms are in the six-figure range or higher for large organizations with a low tolerance for downtime.

So, how do you protect the data on your IBM i partitions from being held hostage?

  1. The first step is to acknowledge that your IBM i may be vulnerable

For many years our community has touted the security features of IBM i. None of that changes, of course. It’s highly securable. The problem is most people think it comes secured by default. It does not.

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Posted on July 30, 2019

On July 2, 2019, IBM announced that 15K RPM hard disk drives would no longer be available for new orders of its Storwize V5000 and V7000 storage systems, US announcement letter 119-048.  Why did IBM make this announcement and what does it mean for IBM i customers?

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Laurie LeBlanc, iTech
By Laurie LeBlanc

It’s that time of year again, hurricanes, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are back again.  Which means you’re at risk, especially if you haven’t done a recovery test of your backups recently.  What are you waiting for, a natural disaster?

Store Backups offsite

While it may be common sense that you need to keep a copy of your backups offsite for recoverability, we encounter many companies who are not religious about removing tapes from the drive. It’s imperative that you store your backups offsite in case of a disaster.  It doesn’t matter if you use physical tapes or virtual tapes, you need to make sure there is a copy in a second location.

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common_powerup_2019
Posted on May 30, 2019

Pete Massiello

Well, it has been a hell of a week, which seemed to start even on the way to the airport with getting in a few last minute calls. 

So, how was my week at COMMON’s premier event, POWERUp 2019?

Probably the hardest place is where to start.  It seems like we have been here for a lifetime, and at the same time the days went by so quickly.  Certainly, the highlight for me was seeing so many friends, customers, meeting new people, and spending time with the other iTech employees: Laurie, Rick, Richie, Steve, and Yvonne.  We don’t all work in Danbury, so every chance to see them is a treat for me. There was much to do together, from booth setup, meetings, working the booth, common sessions we attended, speaking, and then social events. This conference, other conferences, our customer meetings, as well as meetings in Danbury allow us to bridge the distance of not working in the same office each day.

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Posted on May 28, 2019

On April 23rd, 2019, IBM announced the newest release of the operating system IBM i 7.4. The announcement contained hundreds of updates to the OS and licensed programs. 

One new licensed program, DB2 Mirror for i was also announced. It provides continuous availability for IBM i applications. “Continuous Availability” is a new term, which previously we had High Availability

  • How is Continuous Availability different than High Availability?
  • What are the software and hardware requirements for Db2 Mirror for i? 
  • Does DB2 Mirror for i replace all the Data Replication products? 
  • When should I consider using DB2 Mirror for i? 

For the answers to these questions, and more, keep reading.

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Posted on

Now that I have your attention, I want to discuss a serious topic; disaster recovery.  In the event of an actual disaster, you want to be able to recover as quickly as possible to reduce the number of transactions that you lose, and the business you will lose as a result. 

The real question is: Have you ever tested your disaster recovery process?

If the answer is, “no” or “not in a few years”, then your DR system might be nothing more than a boat anchor.

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What You Need to Know About IBM i 7.4
Posted on April 23, 2019

If you remember in a statement about my predictions for 2019, I said that the next release of IBM i would contain some of the biggest enhancements ever put out by IBM for OS/400 or IBM i. 

Well, it is now announced and being unwrapped today, and IBM i 7.4 (formally known as iNext) comes out with Db2 Mirror for IBM i, Synchronous Replication for Continuous Availability as the biggest enhancement.  This is a very very cool technology, not just cool, even better than very cool, this is crazy cool technology.  It’s not the only thing being delivered, but certainly the biggest part of 7.4. While the announcements are today, April 23, 2019, the software currently has a General Availability of Friday, June 21.

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BM Offers Hardware Support Extension
Posted on April 17, 2019

POWER6 machines reached end of support on 3/31/2019, with the end of support for many POWER7 models following in September.  Many companies are still running these models, and they are looking for options. 

In the past, IBM has not offered extended hardware support, but things have changed, and there is a new option available for those of you who won’t be able to move off old hardware before the end of support dates.

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Why do I need to upgrade my IBM i?
Posted on April 3, 2019

“My system is working fine. Why do I need to upgrade the OS?”

I get asked this all the time.

Well, there are certainly a few reasons, and without getting too technical let’s explore a few of them. 

1. Why risk it?

Why would you risk putting your company at risk of running on an operating system that isn’t supported by IBM any longer?  If you are on an older unsupported release, and if something breaks you won’t be able to get a fix for this unless one has already been developed.  Yes, you can have extended support, but do you realize that the cost for one year of extended support is more than what it would cost to upgrade to a supported release.

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Making the IBM i Bubble Bigger
Posted on March 27, 2019

This article is originally published from MC Press Online. To see the original article, visit their post here.


steve_pitcher
Steve Pitcher

Yes, high-praise press is good. So build on it.

One of the most interesting developments to come out of IBM Think this year was an eWeekarticle entitled “IBM i: The Most Amazing IBM Product You’ve Never Heard Of.” What? The platform had a flag-waving endorsement from outside our community? In eWeek? The Rob Enderle article started off like this:

“Occasionally, I run into a product that just has me sitting back wondering if I stepped into some kind of alternative universe. One of the first products that gave me this impression was the old AS400 from IBM. It was kind of like if you took an Abrams Tank and created a server with similar survivability. The stories of these things were legendary. 

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COMMON CONNECT: Cognitive Compurting & AI
Posted on March 7, 2019

Pete Massiello and Richie Palma have articles published within the February 2019 COMMON Connect Newsletter with a focus on cognitive computing.

Massiello’s article, “Your Company Will Likely Go Out of Business” covers the advantage of cognitive computing, its relation to IBM i and the importance of using your data.

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